Public Defence: Thea Vigen Thea Vigen at Institute of Clinical Medicine will be defending the thesis “Carotid atherosclerosis; Prevalence and relation with blood pressure and intracerebral blood flow velocities” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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Photo: Åsne Rambøl Hillestad, UiO

Due to copyright reasons, an electronic copy of the thesis must be ordered from the faculty. In order for the faculty to have time to process the order, it must be received by the faculty no later than 2 days prior to the public defence. Orders received later than 2 days before the defence will not be processed. Inquiries regarding the thesis after the public defence must be addressed to the candidate.

Trial Lecture – time and place

See Trial Lecture.

Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Professor Ellisiv B. Mathiesen, The Arctic University of Norway (UiT)
  • Second opponent: Adjunct Senior Lecturer Erik Lundström,
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Professor Mona Skjelland, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Professor II Bjørnar Hassel, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Professor II Ole Morten Rønning, University of Oslo


Cardiovascular diseases are leading causes of death and disability worldwide. The economic, social, and health related consequences are enormous. Thus, there is an eminent need for novel markers to identify patients at risk, and to attain a deeper understanding of disease development.

The foundation of this thesis is an ultrasound examination of the carotid arteries. It was performed as part of the Akershus Cardiac Examination (ACE) 1950 Study. The study was conducted to investigate the development of cardiovascular diseases, with permission for long-term follow-up. Men and women born in 1950 and resident in Akershus County were invited. Baseline examinations were performed from 2012- 2015, and 3,706 individuals participated.

First we aimed to establish measures of blood pressure as predictors of carotid atherosclerosis. This was enabled through access of data from “The Age 40 Program”. The Age 40 Program was a national cardiovascular screening survey carried out between 1985 and 1999. We found that a single time-point measurement of blood pressure at the age of 40 was predictive of carotid atherosclerosis late midlife. The result underlines the importance of blood pressure control early midlife.

Second we aimed to assess associations between measures of carotid atherosclerosis and findings from transcranial ultrasound of the middle cerebral artery. We found a significant association between measures of carotid atherosclerosis and pulsatility index, a marker of peripheral vascular resistance. However, the overall explained variance was low, suggesting other factors than atherosclerosis and cardiovascular risk factors to play an important role for the pulsatility index.

Lastly we presented prevalence of carotid plaque and its association with other cardiovascular risk factors.  With a plaque prevalence of 87 % we found higher plaque prevalence than previously reported. Carotid plaque was associated with known cardiovascular risk factors.

Additional information

Contact the research support staff.

Published Sep. 8, 2022 12:35 PM - Last modified Sep. 20, 2022 12:22 PM